Surprise, Surprise!

A report that the US is planning to whack the Mullahs in 2 years time can be discounted – when and if it does attack, it’ll be a big surprise.

Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran’s nuclear sites as a “last resort” to block Teheran’s efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

The Bush administration has recently announced plans to add conventional ballistic missiles to the armoury of its nuclear Trident submarines within the next two years. If ready in time, they would also form part of the plan of attack.

Sen John McCain, the Republican front-runner to succeed Mr Bush in 2008, has advocated military strikes as a last resort. He said recently: “There is only only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option and that is a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat, has made the same case and Mr Bush is expected to be faced by the decision within two years.

Here’s what Sun Tzu says in “The Art Of War“:

All warfare is based on deception.

Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable;
when using our forces, we must seem inactive;
when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away;
when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Surprise wasn’t possible in Iraqi Freedom – the dances at the UN and staging all the troops and equipment gave Saddam over a year to prepare.

But Iran is different – it’s about 100 targets that can be destroyed from a distance, and even with Chinese and Russian intelligence feeds, it’ll be hard to spot the many small deployments setting this modest a strike up.

So the attack could be anytime – even next week…

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